Creative Sound Blaster X5 Review (Page 5 of 5)

Page 5 - Conclusion

If we ponder the purpose of the Creative Sound Blaster X5, I would conclude this is a strong external sound card that exists as a happy medium for both amateurs and experienced users. At the top, we have an unassuming appearance. The front buttons are intuitive and features many function-driven lights. The two knobs here move smoothly about. On the flip side, we have a ton of analog and digital options for inputs and outputs. These include RCA, TOSLINK, and USB. We have a couple more options including 3.5mm microphone in and audio out, as well as a balanced 4.4mm output. The Sound Blaster X5 is a capable headphone amplifier, with the ability to drive high impedance headphones with no worries. When it comes to using the Creative sound card, everything is easy to access and navigate. The implemented software is chock full of customization and granularity. We have various settings for equalizers, sound and recording effects, and more. The mobile application may be reduced in its offerings, but it still provides the necessary functions. Internally, the dual Cirrus Logic DACs deliver clean and detailed sound, which is confirmed by our audio testing. There were improvements over our alternatives and the Sound Blaster X5 never held us back. Its recording capabilities are up to the task and its many different effects are great to see. This being said, there are still some things to keep in mind with the Creative Sound Blaster X5. First of all, we are missing a few features, including Super X-Fi or any audio codec other than SBC for Bluetooth streaming. Furthermore, its gold font is a bit difficult to read in less than perfect lighting conditions. However, the biggest gripe I have is the lack of metal. This would have really put the Sound Blaster X5 over the top with a premium and durable physical finish to match its competition. At the time of the review, the Creative Sound Blaster X5 is priced at $280, which is still a bit to pay for audio. Even so, the Creative Sound Blaster X5 is really a great option as it opens up more possibilities for users getting into the world of sound.

Creative provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

APH:Renewal Award | APH Networks Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks, but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Networks Numeric Rating is 7.8/10
Please note that the APH Networks Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other publications.

The Creative Sound Blaster X5 external USB sound card is filled to the brim with features to let users customize audio input and output to their heart's desire.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Specifications, Bundle
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. A Closer Look - Software
4. Subjective Audio Analysis
5. Conclusion